Apple September 2022 keynote: Watch models, AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14

Anyone who has grappled with the many rumors surrounding the new iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods Pro models over the past few weeks and months could hardly have expected Apple's annual September keynote today. Now the Apple September Keynote 2022 is over and I'm going to summarize it for you. Buckle up for extreme sports, big screens, car crashes, image stabilization, ovulation, satellite emergency calls and a mysterious scene at the end of the stream. But let's start from the beginning...

Opening by Tim Cook, Apple's CEO

As always, this one was Keynote opened by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who, among other things, went into the unique interaction of iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. From the beginning, no secret was made about which products will be discussed today - these three were named directly. Then there was another video with stories from Watch users who reported how the Apple Watch helped them in difficult situations (heart problems, crash landing, accident at work, etc.). 

Apple Watch Series 8

Then it was about the Apple Watch Series 8, not without mentioning that the Apple Watch has been the best-selling smartwatch on the market for seven years in a row. The always-on display with narrow edges and the fact that the watch is suitable for swimming, dustproof and unbreakable were then emphasized. Then it was about the first major innovation: temperature sensors.

Two new temperature sensors, one on the skin and one on the display, improve cycle monitoring. This makes it easier to determine the time of ovulation, which can help with family planning, among other things. The new feature supplements cycle monitoring, which has been possible with the watch for three years using its own Apple Watch app.

In the interaction of watchOS 9 and iOS 16 notifications are also made possible, which, if interested, indicate the jump-in or its time frame. In combination with the determination of heart data, blood oxygen measurement and similar medical functions, the new temperature measurement can also be used to detect certain diseases or at least symptoms.

Another innovation called "Crash Detection" results from two sensors that are also new. Together with other components, such as the microphone, these determine whether there has been a car accident. Not only can accelerations of up to 256 G be determined, but also the type of accident: frontal impact, side impact, rear-end collision and/or rollover. After a crash, an emergency call is automatically made. This can be canceled if everything is ok.

Despite the new sensors and functions, a battery life of 18 hours is still certified. However, watchOS 9 comes with a new "Low Power Mode" for all models from Series 4, which enables up to 36 hours of battery life. Furthermore, "International Roaming" was announced from the Series 5, which users within the EU are probably less interested in. The Apple Watch Series 8 is available to pre-order today and will be in stores starting September 16.

Recommended reading: AM and PM time in German

Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)

The update for the new Apple Watch SE was shorter. Again, the benefits of watchOS 9 were briefly highlighted. It was also shown that the two new sensors are also used to detect car accidents. The big difference to the Series 8: there are no integrated temperature sensors, which excludes the extended cycle monitoring with this model. The ECG function and blood oxygen measurement are also missing again.

The second generation Apple Watch SE has a 44mm case and was introduced as the ideal complement for families and Apple's family sharing services. This proves the rumor that Apple a special watch for children brings out as wrong. But the approach that the watch is something for kids was still followed. This model will also be available in stores from September 16th. More details in a separate post.

apple watch ultra

Various names for the extreme sports model of the Apple smartwatch have been mentioned in blog posts, news articles, newsletters and other media in recent weeks: Rugged, Series 8 Pro, Watch Pro, and more. Ultimately, the model is now called "Apple Watch Ultra" - made for adventurers, extreme athletes and researchers in adverse conditions. Above all, the functions and bracelets for mountaineering, diving and running were highlighted.

The Apple Watch Ultra has an extra-large 49 mm case and a new button, the action button. This stands out due to the orange color and should also be easy to use under water and with gloves. The function can be set individually so that the appropriate functions, from the compass to the dive computer, can be activated quickly and easily.

But back to the display: This is not only the largest display built into an Apple Watch to date, but also the brightest. With up to 2.000 nits, it should ensure a clear view of all the information displayed, even in the sunniest conditions. At night, the crown only has to be turned upwards, then the display of the watch face is adjusted with a night mode. The titanium case wraps around the edges of the display to better prevent damage.

There is also a second speaker in the Apple Watch Ultra and three microphones with improved sound even in wind and ambient noise. Mobile communication is possible in every version, there are no pure GPS models. One battery charge should provide up to 36 hours of use. A watchOS update later this year is expected to bring a low-power feature for up to 60 hours of runtime. There is a suitable bracelet for all three main target groups.

There is also the "Way Finder" face (see above), a dial with compass functions and other important information that can be viewed at a glance. A better localization is possible with the dual-band GPS, which uses the two L1 and L5 frequencies. Action button again: This can be used for waypoints on a GPS map, so that you can find your way back on impassable terrain or communicate the exact location in the event of an emergency call. But it can also be used simply for individual workouts.

In addition, a "siren", i.e. a loud signal tone, is integrated, which can be played with the Apple Watch Ultra if you want to attract the attention of rescue teams or other people. The watch should be operational from -20°C to 55°C. When diving, it shows depth, time under water and water temperature - suitable for diving depths of 40 meters. With the Oceanic Plus app there are further dive computer functions that help with healthy ascents, for example. More on that in another post.

The Apple Watch Ultra is available to order starting today and will be available in stores starting September 23. 

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

Before it came to the iPhone 14, the update for the AirPods Pro was first shown. The new H2 chip and the new audio drivers with low distortion should ensure even better sound and faster cooperation with the audio sources. There is also better active noise cancellation with up to twice as much or better suppressed ambient noise. However, there is still a transparency mode that can also be adapted to the environment - from noisy to quiet places.

Also new are the new XS earplugs for small ears and the new possibility of individual sound adjustment. This works by measuring the ear and head with the iPhone and its lidar scanner. Touch usage has also been improved. In addition to simple tapping, there are now also swipe gestures, for example to adjust the volume.

Battery life has been improved up to 6 hours, which is said to be a 33% increase compared to the previous model. The charging case gives up to 30 hours. The case can now also be charged with a watch or MagSafe charger, you can locate it by "Where is?" (exactly via the U1 chip) and an integrated loudspeaker emits different tones: to find it, for the charge level , Etc. 

You can pre-order the new second-generation Apple AirPods Pro from September 9th and buy them from September 23rd. If you order through Apple, the case can be engraved free of charge, including emojis and memojis.

Apple iPhone 14 (Plus)

Now coming to the iPhone, confirming the long-running rumor that there will be no more "mini" versions like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 has a 6,1-inch display and that iPhone 14 Plus has a 6,7-inch display. So people with small hands will probably have to switch to SE models in the future or buy the older mini versions. But the new iPhones with their Super Retina XDR display including OLED technology should be ideal for gaming, streaming content and the like.

Another rumor that has been confirmed is, that the A15 chip of the iPhone 13 Pro was installed. This offers five GPU cores, so Apple could announce better graphics performance compared to the iPhone 13. It was also shown that the competition is still lagging behind the A13 chip, which should continue to make the iPhone 14 with the "old" chip the better option. 

The new Image Signal Processor is said to offer better HDR photos with improved lighting and better low-light images. The cameras now also offer a shorter exposure against shake and too long exposure for night shots. In this way, details can be better highlighted. In addition, "Deep Fusion“ improved and expanded with further steps on RAW basis. The whole thing is now called “Photonic Engine”. More about the cameras in a separate article (I can imagine that Jens will devote himself to this topic again, as in previous years). 

Better image stabilization has been introduced for video recording with the iPhone 14 (Plus). Personally, I already like the stabilization in the iPhone 12 (Pro) for handheld recordings, but the iPhone 14 (Plus, Pro, Pro Max) went a step further so that gimbal quality should now be achieved. Hand gimbals or action cams such as those from DJI, GoPro or Insta360 could become obsolete for some users. 

And another rumor that has been confirmed: Emergency calls via satellite. Instead of a bulky antenna, there is a search aid for aligning the iPhone in the direction of a suitable satellite. If the connection is successful, this is shown visually. Ready-made questions and answer options ensure a quick emergency call via text message. 

If a provider or emergency call center does not support text messages, service centers (relay centers) are interposed, which take over the call for the users. According to Apple, it took several years to implement this feature with the necessary network. The offer starts in the USA and Canada; it's free for the first two years.

And there's even more that's new with the iPhone 14: In order to push eSIM further forward, the US models will no longer have a SIM card slot, but will rely entirely on digital SIM cards. This has been shown to be positive in the event of theft as a physical SIM can be removed while an eSIM cannot. In addition, "Crash Detection" for detecting car accidents is also coming to iPhone. Fitness+ without the use of the Apple Watch will be possible later this year.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will be available for pre-order starting September 9th. The iPhone 14 will then be available in stores from September 16th. The iPhone 14 Plus will go on sale from October 7th. More details will be available soon in a separate post.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro (Max)

The last item on the list of new devices was the Apple iPhone 14 Pro including its Max model. Here, too, the difference is the display size of 6,1 or 6,7 inches. But what about the notch? Yes, that's right, they don't exist anymore. Instead, the "Dynamic Island", a combination of hardware and software, which intelligently integrates the cut-out for the camera and Face ID in iOS 16. Because the area is dynamically adapted to specific information and actions. That Rumor about the camera and microphone indicators was stacked way too deep :D

Furthermore, there is to say about the display of the iPhone 14 Pro (Max) that there will be an always-on function based on an update of 1 Hz. In addition, the display is then dimmed so that electricity for the lighting is saved. For active use, however, 1.600 nits (as in the Pro Display XDR and MacBook Pro 2021) are used, with a peak of 2.000 nits for sunny days. The new A16 Bionic chip, which is said to offer almost 4 billion transistors with its 16 nm architecture, should ensure the best efficiency. 

All other improvements and new features mentioned in the iPhone 14 are of course also present in the Pro model (image stabilization, crash detection, etc.). However, the camera system has been significantly improved and stands out in the new Pro series. With the main camera, 48 megapixels can be used on a larger sensor, also for RAW recordings. There are also four zoom steps from 0,5x and 1x to 2x (a 12 MP section from the 48 MP photo) and 3x. 

Other camera improvements such as Apple ProRAW with more depth and machine learning for more detail and less noise in low light should appeal to many more professional users. The flash has also been improved for this. The nine LEDs can light up in different patterns, which can be used for different lighting of the subject through the lens in front of it. There will also be more about the iPhone 14 Pro camera soon in a separate post (Hello Jens, are you already planning something along these lines? 😄).

The iPhone 14 Pro also promises that the battery should last the whole day (depending on usage, of course). You can pre-order the new devices from September 9th. They will then go on sale on September 16th. More about the technical data, prices and other information is available - as every year - in individual articles. Then I also take a closer look at storage options and other price factors.

Apple event from September 7, 2022 as a video

Here's the YouTube video that was available on Apple's channel right after the official stream of this year's September keynote:

What does the last scene tell us?

The ending was a bit unusual for an Apple Keynote. Anyone who stayed tuned in between Tim Cook's farewell and in front of the longer display of the Apple logo was able to see a recording that was probably released for interpretation. A subway train standing in a station, in front of which a woman with a handbag is waiting. There's a visual glitch, and then the woman is gone. Then the stream ends. What was that? Announcing a new series? An indication of a new device or feature? How do you interpret this scene? Please leave a comment.

Update: About that MacRumors Forum I found out that this is Britt Lower in her role as Helly, which she portrays in the Apple tv+ series Severance. Apparently this is a reference to the series.

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8 comments on “Apple September Keynote 2022: Watch models, AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14”

  1. Hi John,
    I didn't expect the satellite feature anymore. Yesterday I watched the keynote on YouTube on my 55-inch SmartTV and made a few mistakes (my English is a bit rusty). Thanks to this article, these are now cleared. Thanks ! Will back up the data of my XS today (with ITunes and AnyTrans). I have now almost decided on the IPhone 14 Pro 256 GB in gold.
    Your article made me an early riser today.
    Greeting Horst

    1. Hello Horst,

      thanks for your comment! And I'm glad that my article was able to accompany you into the day today :D

      Feel free to share your first impressions and experiences with the iPhone 14 Pro.

      I'm already awake again and I'll get down to the detailed posts on the individual devices.

      Best regards

      1. Hi John,
        Was just on the Apple website. The IPhone 14 Pro can be ordered from tomorrow (September 09.09.2022th, 14) from 00:14 p.m. Will visit the website tomorrow from 00:XNUMX p.m. I look forward to your and Jens detailed contributions.

        Greeting Horst

        1. Hello Horst,

          let us know how the servers behave :D

          The first post is online soon, I'll start with the AirPods Pro 2.

          Best regards

          1. Johannes does a great job with the keynote articles. I'm glad he takes care of it. My desk is overflowing with emails again and so far I've only answered emails. 😂 Not very productive.

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